In a move certain to surprise many in the industry, Nina Tassler has announced that she is stepping down from her position as Chairman of CBS Entertainment at the end of this year, before moving into an advisory role at CBS through to 2017 (when her contract is up).
Glenn Geller, who currently oversees Current Programming for both CBS Entertainment and CBS Television Studios, has been promoted to President of CBS Entertainment and will take over from Tassler when she steps down. In the mean time, the two will work closely over the next few months to ensure a smooth transition, though word is that Tassler will defer to Geller on development as it is him who will have to handle the slate going forward.
It would be hard to argue that this is anything but a massive blow for CBS, who only last year promoted Nina Tassler to Chairman. The exec has deep ties with Les Moonves, having followed him from WBTV some eighteen years ago. She has been leading the Entertainment division for more than a decade and in that time has been responsible for such series as CSI, NCIS, Criminal Minds, Blue Bloods, How I Met Your Mother, 2 Broke Girls and The Big Bang Theory.
“Nina and I have been colleagues and friends for 25 years,” said Moonves. “It is one of the proudest partnerships of my professional life. We’ve enjoyed amazing success together, both here and at Warner Bros., and it’s been a privilege to watch her talents and accomplishments grow. Nina is a creative executive with the instincts of an artist, so it came as no surprise that she would eventually want to express those talents beyond television. All of us here are grateful and proud of CBS’s success with Nina leading our entertainment programming, and we will be the biggest fans for all her future endeavors.”
It’s worth noting that Tassler is not being forced out, but is exiting of her own volition to pursue other projects. She has a book coming out next year and there has been talk that she is looking to get back to her producer roots with a theatre project – which was where Tassler initially kicked off her career back in the day before joining the executive ranks. Glen Geller is viewed as a safe pair of hands who has what it takes to take CBS forward. In his previous role as EVP, Current Series, he oversaw more than 30 series across the CBS group for both CBS and The CW.
“Glenn Geller is an accomplished programming executive who has been a major part of CBS’s success since 2001. When Nina told me her plans, we both knew we had an obvious successor in our own ranks”, added Les Moonves. “Glenn brings outstanding skills to all parts of the creative and production process, and he has led large programming teams both at the Network and Studio that oversee our biggest franchises and hit programs. He’s worked under the best with Nina and David Stapf, and is very ready to assume this larger role.”
“For the past 18 years, I’ve been blessed to be part of an amazing team that has lifted this Network to an enviable run of success. It all starts at the top with Leslie, my boss, mentor and friend for two and a half decades, and a leader who inspires excellence in every part of the creative and business process”, added Tassler.” I owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to Leslie, my colleagues at CBS and all the actors, producers and writers who were part of this incredible journey. I will always love this place, yet it is time for my next chapter, and I’m thrilled that I can pursue my other creative interests while still being part of the Company. I pass the baton to Glenn with great confidence and pride. He is an outstanding leader with great respect for the artistic process and a clear vision for programming success.”